The party has no obvious contenders to challenge Gov. Brown, but the eventual standard-bearer should at least be credible.

By George Skelton
Capitol Journal
February 25, 2013

SACRAMENTO — The Republican Party has become so pathetic in California that it can’t even find a candidate to run for governor next year.

Correct that. It isn’t even looking. Wouldn’t know where to begin.

The party’s in no position to recruit anyway. It has little to offer. Certainly not a brand name, not in a state where the GOP steadily has been losing market share. Definitely not money. The party’s deep in debt.

Actually, neither major party historically has had to recruit top-of-ticket candidates. They’re usually lined up begging, jockeying for position to win the party’s nomination.

Republicans will hold a state convention next weekend in Sacramento. Normally, there’d be a parade of gubernatorial wannabes fighting for the mike and opening up hospitality suites during the silly hours. But not this time.

This convention apparently will have all the excitement of a Saturday at the dump. The big event will be the election of a former Republican legislative leader, Jim Brulte, as the new state chairman.

Brulte wants to rebuild the party from the ground up. That includes recruiting local candidates and building a farm system for major office.

But no one can name a Republican who would have a snowball’s chance of beating Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown next year — at least someone who might run.

The name of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice always is tossed out. But everyone concedes that’s fantasy. She’s committed to education reform, a Brown vulnerability. She loves her life in academia at Stanford, however, and shuns smelly state politics.

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